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NATO Chief Declines to Give Chemical Weapons Redline in Russia-Ukraine War

‘This is something we take extremely serious,’ NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says
NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg took questions from reporters Friday, March 4, 2022. (NATO)
NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg took questions from reporters Friday, March 4, 2022. (NATO)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg sidestepped answering whether Russia potentially using chemical weapons in its invasion of Ukraine would spur NATO to rethink imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine. 

"It does sound like what you're saying is you don't have an answer yet on what the use of chemical weapons would do to NATO’s stance about Ukraine," "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd told Stoltenberg Sunday morning. 

"Any use of chemical weapons will be a blatant and brutal violation of international law - the ban on the use of chemical weapons. At the same time we know that Russia has used chemical agents in Europe before against their own political opponents," Stoltenberg told Todd. 

"So this is something we take extremely serious. But at the same time again, we are not … we are very much aware of that we need to act in a way that prevents this conflict from being a very bloody, ugly, horrific conflict in Ukraine to something that turns out to be a full-fledged war between NATO and Russia in Europe," he added. 

Todd had asked if Russia potentially using chemical weapons would prompt NATO to rethink imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Stoltenberg said that the intergovernmental military alliance’s focus is to protect the 1 billion people living in NATO-allied countries. 

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